Professor Vannie Naidoo from the School of Management, Information Technology and Governance was involved in a panel debate on the opportunities in the interaction between digitisation and localisation in a framework of capacity strengthening in humanitarian logistics, at the bi-annual Logistics Cluster Global Meeting hosted by the World Food Program.
She was joined by two other experts in their field, Mr Siokkyn Jang (Chokkun) from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia who is the Regional Logistics Manager of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and, Mr Guillaume Noailly from Lyon, France, the Learning and Development Coordinator at Bio Force.
The Global Logistics Cluster cooperates with and supports more than 700 humanitarian stakeholders (UN agencies, NGOs (national and international), national disaster management agencies, donors, etc). The key theme of the panel revolved around the COVID-19 pandemic and how the various stakeholders who interact with the Cluster have to respond and quickly adapt to all things digital.
Topics included localisation, digitisation and opportunities for remote learning and training. Naidoo stated that due to COVID-19 many organisations had to move their training to online platforms. This was done to ensure that employees in the humanitarian global cluster and their partners and sponsors remain safe. While this was a new way of training, it offered costs savings to the organisation, NGOs and donor organisations.
She added that the field of humanitarian logistics is a very specialised one that involves the mobilisation of people, resources, and expertise to assist vulnerable communities affected by natural disasters and complex emergencies.
‘Humanitarian logistics is exceedingly important, as many parts of the world require food and medical aid during natural disasters, wars and during the current pandemic,’ said Naidoo.
Words: Lungile Ngubelanga